Company fined $90k after teen worker crushed by truck


A workplace incident that left a teenager permanently injured has resulted in a mining maintenance company being fined $90,000.

The 15-year-old apprentice suffered serious facial fractures and lacerations, and back and leg injuries after he was crushed by a 10-tonne tray at the Boulder worksite in February 2007.

Dalmain Enterprises, trading at ATS Mining Maintenance, pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment, and by that failure causing serious harm to an employee.

According to WorkSafe, the 15-year-old was one of at least three employees conducting maintenance work on a 40-tonne dump truck in one of the bays at the company's workshop.

The apprentice was tidying up tools and rags near and on the truck when the heavy duty fitter instructed him to get out from under the elevated tray of the truck because he was about to start it to check for oil leaks.

The apprentice moved to another position that was still under the tray, while the fitter assumed he had gone down the ladder to the ground and was clear of the tray.

The fitter called out to the employees to stand clear, started the truck, and the tray began to descend under hydraulic pressure and snapped the metal "harden" bars that were being used to keep the tray vertical.

The court heard how the "harden" bars were utilised in the place of the usual safety pins, which could not be used due to damage done to the truck's eyelets.

Acting WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said the employer did not ensure the appropriate isolation procedures were followed, and this caused the serious injury to the young apprentice.

"The court found that the employer did not adequately train its employees, and that the company's policy did not require employees to physically lock out machinery while it was tagged," he said.

"Subsequent to this incident, the employer introduced a comprehensive lockout and tagging system in the workplace, but unfortunately it was too late for this young apprentice."

The company was fined $90,000 and ordered to pay court costs of more than $3654.50 in Kalgoorlie Magistrate's Court.

From WA Today.

Author: Department of Commerce, WA

Tags: User:Teacher;User:Student;Other Industry;Using machinery;Causes of OHS incidents;News items